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All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney – ARC Review

Thank you to Macmillans children’s publishing group and Netgalley for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review.

I have no idea why this book hasn’t been screamed about everywhere because it is absolutely phenomenal and you all need to stop what you’re doing and go buy it and read it because it released on 12th November!


Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating cute, popular, and sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock…and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret, exactly. It’s just that her parents don’t practice and raised her to keep her Islamic heritage to herself. But as Allie witnesses ever-growing Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she begins to embrace her faith—studying it, practicing it, and facing hatred and misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl? What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?” And can a Muslim girl in America ever truly fit in?
ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.

This book has launched all the way to my top reads of the year! I read this book in one night and I literally stayed awake until 5am to finish it and I have zero regrets! It made me sob and laugh and made me angry and sad and hopeful and my goodness I felt every emotion reading that book. Trust me you all need to go read it!

This is a beautiful heartfelt story of a young girl discovering her faith and learning to love all of herself. It’s about finding out who you are and finding a place to belong. Nadine does such a wonderful job of showing what it’s like for so many young Muslim people today, from the Islamophobia and hate they face to being proud of their faith but also afraid to show it because they will become a target.

I’m proud of being Muslim. I want to show it to the world. And if that makes somebody uncomfortable, maybe they’re the problem, not me.

It was so real to me and it showed things that I had felt as a teen and even feel now and it had me sobbing throughout. It’s as if Nadine dug right into my complicated thoughts of what it’s like to be Muslim and especially be visibly Muslim and wrote it into the story. I absolutely adored the nuanced Muslim rep in the book. We have Allie who comes from a non-practicing Muslim family and then there’s Dua and all the other young Muslim girls she meets who are all at different stages in practicing their faith and have all different things they battle with. It was so great to see how different we all are in the book. Even the stereotype of what a Muslim should look like is discussed in the story.

The girls that Allie meets at the Quran club that she joins was so great to see, it reminded me of my group of friends and I loved seeing how amazing it is to have a group of girls who support each other in the book. She also has a great relationship with her parents, the only time she is hesitant to speak to them is about wanting to know more about Islam and practice it more. Which is actually the reality of a lot of young Muslims today. It took me over two years to convince my parents I would be okay wearing an abaya and the hijab before that. So I really related to Allie and her struggle with opening up to her parents.

I want to be loved. But for me. Not for the ideal of what I could be.

She also has a boyfriend, Wells, and is afraid to tell him that she is Muslim especially when she starts to practice more but it was really great to see him be supportive and understanding. The opposite was also true for some of her friends, when they found out they remained ignorant and didn’t want to accept that part of her.

It was really interesting reading about Allie as she doesn’t “look Muslim” so it was easy for her to get by without telling anyone and had opportunities and privileges that would have been otherwise denied to her (like we see in the first chapter). Her character arc in becoming more confident within herself and accepting all of her was so wonderful to read. She deals with Islamophobia, hate speech, people perpetuating stereotypes, white male priviledge and a white man telling her that she is oppressed even when she insists she isn’t. Honestly it made me so angry reading it because I’ve dealt with this but it was so great to see it in a book and showing these realities of Muslims.

Islam is not monolith. It’s time we stopped feeling guilty about not being Muslim enough. Or being too Muslim. Or not the right kind of Muslim.

I could go on forever about why I absolutely adored this book and I really need you all to go read it. It’s unputdownable and will have you completely immersed into the story until the end.


Where to find the Author:

Where to find the book:
Book Depository
Barnes and Noble

6 thoughts on “All American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney – ARC Review”

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